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Reduced ovarian reserve associated with increased risk of trisomic pregnancy
Date:6/30/2009

Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Women who have a diminished number of eggs in their ovaries, either because they are older or for some other reason such as ovarian surgery, may be more at risk of a trisomic pregnancy than women with an ovarian reserve within the normal, fertile range.

Trisomic pregnancies occur when the embryo has three copies of a chromosome rather than the normal two. The most common trisomy is Down's syndrome or trisomy 21. Most foetuses with other trisomies miscarry, but if they are born alive then they have multiple abnormalities and usually die in childhood.

Dr Maaike Haadsma, a researcher in the departments of obstetrics & gynaecology and genetics at the University Medical Center Groningen (The Netherlands) presented her findings at the 25th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Amsterdam today (Tuesday).

She said: "The results of my study support a relation between trisomic pregnancy and a decreased quantity of eggs available in the ovaries of women attending fertility clinics for IVF treatment. This finding is independent of the women's age. This suggests that the effect of a mother's age on the risk of trisomy may be explained by the age-related decrease in the numbers of eggs. Younger women may also be at increased risk of trisomic pregnancy if their ovarian reserve is reduced, either because of treatment affecting the ovaries such as surgery, or because of their genetic inheritance."

Dr Haadsma and her colleagues analysed data from a nationwide group of 19,840 women undergoing fertility treatment in The Netherlands from 1983-1995. They identified 28 women who had a trisomic pregnancy after IVF and matched them with a control group of women who had healthy children. They looked at three indications of ovarian reserve: 1) a history of ovarian surgery at the time of IVF treatment (such as the removal of benign ovarian cysts); 2) the number of eggs (oocytes) retr
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Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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